Remote Witness Requirements for Estate Planning

As the BC Government’s state of emergency is still ongoing, they have finally decided to, at least temporarily, amend the rules for signing wills, powers of attorney, and representation agreements. This change was made to accommodate social distancing protocol and those who have special circumstances to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The government is now allowing estate planning documents to be signed and verified over video conference to accommodate those who are unable to meet in-person.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Wills – A will requires two witnesses (one of whom must be a lawyer or notary public) and as long as the will-maker and the witnesses are in each other’s “electronic presence,” they will be deemed to be present at the time the will was signed. Each party needs to have a copy of the will in front of them and signed at the same time but on their own version. Then, when put together, the will is considered fully signed. The will must also note that the will was signed in this way (and not in actual in-person presence of each other).
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements – As long as the witness is a lawyer or notary public, the Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement can be signed in each other’s “electronic presence”, and signing their own copy of the same document.

If you are ill, in isolation, or would feel more comfortable not meeting in person to have your estate planning documents signed, we are here to support you. It’s more important than ever to get your estate planning in order.

Estate planning is something we all need to do—for peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones. Our team of skilled legal experts can help tailor your estate planning to your exact needs, ensuring your beneficiaries a stress-free experience in the event of your passing and potentially decrease any fees that may be incurred if a will is not in place.

Paperclip Law is committed to helping our clients throughout the Vancouver Region find perfectly tailored solutions when it comes to managing their assets today, tomorrow, and in the many years to come. We believe that estate planning can be simple, and are happy to partner with you to make the process feel easy and transparent. Contact us today to learn more!